NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Evan B
Note that things take place in different time periods, but the series purposefully does not make this apparent. I describe events as portrayed by the series, noting the timeline reveals only when revealed in the show. Geralt and Yennefer’s journeys take place over decades, Ciri’s takes place over a few weeks.
Episode 1 – The End’s Beginning:
The series opens with the witcher, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), slaying a spider-like beast called a kikimora. Witchers are mutants with supernatural powers and very long lifespans. They are also despised by most people and rumored to lack emotion.
Geralt rides his horse Roach to a nearby village named Blaviken to collect a bounty for killing the kikimora. In the local tavern, he befriends a woman named Renfri (Emma Appleton). Eventually he is told to take the beast to the the wizard living in the town, a man named Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen).
Stregobor is in hiding, and asks Geralt to kill Renfri. Stregobor claims that Renfri is prophesied to bring great destruction to the town due to being born with bad omens. Geralt deduces that Renfri is trying to kill the wizard. Stregobor argues that killing Renfri is the lesser evil. Geralt declines the job, saying that he does not choose to do “evil,” regardless if acting would be in service of the “lesser evil.”
Later, Renfri approaches Geralt and asks for his aid in killing Stregobor. She says that she used to be a princess, but that Stregobor tried to kill her due to the bad omens. Instead of killing her, Stregobor’s servant raped her and she managed to escape soon after. Renfri now seeks revenge for what happened to her, saying that killing Stregobor is the lesser evil. Geralt responds by saying that her revenge will only make Renfri the monster they think she is. He offers to leave Blaviken with her so that she can finally live. The two have sex and fall asleep. As he sleeps, Geralt receives a vision where Renfri says that his destiny is to find “the girl in the woods.” In the morning, Renfri is gone.
Geralt pursues Renfri to town to try and stop her from seeking bloody revenge. He is encountered by her followers who demand that he leave her be. When Geralt declines, they attack and Geralt kills them all. Despite giving Renfri several opportunities to stand down, she continues attacking Geralt. Eventually, he forces Renfri to fatally stab herself in battle. As she dies, Renfri again says that the girl in the woods is Geralt’s destiny. Stregobor then slanders Geralt as a butcher and has the townspeople chase him from Blaviken.
Ciri (Freya Allan) is the princess of a kingdom called Cintra. She is being raised by her grandmother Calanthe (Jodhi May) and step-grandfather Eist (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson). The Kingdom of Nilfgaard is invading. The grandparents discuss that Ciri must live at all costs before going off to lead their forces in battle. Calanthe is a renowned warrior and very confident that Cintra will succeed.
Instead, the armies of Nilfgaard rout the forces of Cintra and kill Eist. Calanthe is wounded and barely makes it back to the castle alive. The Nilfgaard army slaughters all the Cintran people they find as they advance on the royal castle. Calanthe shares a tender moment with Ciri before asking her mage to retrieve a person they are holding in their prison cells. The mage returns and says the man they were holding is no longer there. Calanthe sends Ciri out of the castle to try and save her life, saying that Ciri is meant to rule someday and to find Geralt as he is her destiny. After Ciri is escorted from the castle through secret passageways, the royals (including Calanthe) commit suicide.
As Ciri escapes, all her protectors are killed by Nilfgaard soldiers. Ciri is apprehended by the commander of the Nilfgaard army named Cahir (Eamon Farren) just outside the city. As Cahir rides back to his encampment Ciri lets out a supernatural scream that crumbles towers and that splits open the ground between herself and Cahir. Having escaped from Nilfgaard’s clutches, Ciri runs into the woods….
Episode 2 – Four Marks:
Some time after his departure from Blaviken, Geralt is hired to find and kill a demon that is stealing the food from a town. He is followed by Jaskier (Joey Batey), an aspiring minstrel. Jaskier hopes to witness Geralt perform great deeds that will allow him to write a hit song. Geralt begrudgingly allows Jaskier to tag along, but tells him there is no such thing as demons.
The pair come across a horned creature named Torque the Sylvan. Geralt beats up Torque, but does not kill him despite having the chance to do so. Geralt and Jaskier are then knocked unconscious by unseen assailants. When they awaken, they are bound in Torque’s house. It turns out that Torque was stealing food because he is harboring two guests – Filavandrel the king of the elves and one of his military commanders.
Humans and elves have long been enemies. Torque explains that the elvers were slaughtered and forced from their homes by humans once the elves taught humans magic.
The elves are considering attacking the humans to take back their land. Filavandrel’s commander wants to kill the pair to send a message to the humans of their intentions. Filavandrel is inclined to do so, if only to cover their tracks (calling the decision the the lesser evil). Geralt urges Filavandrel to show the humans that they are more than the monsters humans think they are and find new land in which to settle rather than reignite war. Torque, recognizing that Geralt is merciful and an outcast like them, supports Geralt. Filavandrel ultimately listens to Geralt and frees the pair from bondage before departing for new lands.
As the pair return home, Jaskier expresses his admiration for Filavandrel in surviving the first human cleansing and leading his people away from conflict. Nonetheless, he composes a song praising Geralt that highly embellishes their “battle” with the elves and Torque, saying that embellishment is the only way to make history.
Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) is a hunchbacked young woman living with an abusive family. When she is threatened by some unfriendly townsfolk, she manifests the power to teleport. She meets a young apprentice wizard named Istredd (Royce Pierreson) who helps her return home. The next day, a sorceress named Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) arrives at Yennefer’s home purchases Yennefer from her family for four marks. Tissaia brings Yennefer to her school to train her to use her magic alongside other young women.
Tissaia’s first lesson is that magic is meant to organize chaos and always comes at a cost. As an example, Tissaia levitates a rock, but to do so she drains the energy from a flower (had she not killed the flower, the energy would have caused Tissaia’s own body to wilt). Tissaia explains that sometimes the best thing a living entity can do is die in the service of another.
Yennefer finds Istredd in the catacombs below Tissaia’s castle and the pair become friends. Yennefer is consistently unable to perform magic in class unless she is angry. Tissaia says that Yennefer can never become a mage unless she can harness her chaos. Tissaia continues, saying she will never let Yennefer ascend to become a wizard if she doesn’t exert control. She also confides to Yennefer that she used to be exactly like Yennefer, but eventually learned to control her emotions. Tissaia finally reveals that she is aware Yennefer has been secretly meeting with Istredd.
Yennefer goes to Istredd and speculates that Tissaia is going to expel her. The two bond, with Istredd explaining that humans learned magic from elves and then humans claimed magic as their own. Istredd wishes to honor the memory of the elves and shares a magical flower with her that responds to elven blood. To Istredd’s surprise, the flower reacts to Yennefer’s touch. Yennefer responds that she is a half-elf and that is why she is deformed, was an outcast in her home, and was sold for four marks. Istredd doesn’t care about her lineage and the pair kiss.
That night, Yennefer gives the flower she received from Istredd to Tissaia. The sorceress praises Yennefer for controlling her emotions and obtaining the flower. It is also revealed that Istredd is working for Stregobor towards unknown ends.
Yennefer is awakened in the night and follows a few of her classmates as they go to a magical pool for a secret ritual. There, Tissaia turns the classmates into eels and calls Yennefer out from her hiding place. Tissaia tells Yennefer to push the eels into the pool. Yennefer realizes that the pool if filed with eels and that the sorcerers are drawing their powers from the energy of the eels (similar to using the flower’s power to levitate the rock). Yennefer deduces that the eels are all students who lacked the power or control to become a mage. Tissaia repeats that the best thing some living things can do is die for a greater purpose. Yennefer pushes her transformed classmated into the pool.
Ciri wanders through the woods, evading anyone she comes across. A young, silent boy also in the forest named Dara (Wilson Radjou-Pujalte) stops her from eating poisonous berries. The two come upon a camp of Cintran survivors and Dara refuses to go in. Ciri enters and befriends a family. They have an elven slave, who they abuse and force to do menial tasks. It is revealed that the family battled the elves on Calanthe’s command, and several of their family members have died in the battles. The family takes Ciri in.
One night, the camp is attacked. Ciri watches as the family that cared for her is slaughtered (with the mom being killed by their elf after she insults it one last time). She is rescued by Dara and they flee into the woods. Only then does Dara reveals that he is an elf.
Episode 3 – Betrayer Moon:
The story opens in a kingdom called Temeria. A man with grievous wounds lies on his deathbed. He tells a witcher that he was attacked by a vukodlak – a monster that claws its way out of a dead pregnant woman’s belly. The man’s brother pays the witcher to hunt the vukodlak. The witcher tries to kill it, but fails and is killed himeslf.
Geralt is in bed with a woman at a brothel. She tells him that she heard of a witcher who had stolen payment from the people of Temeria and ran off instead of hunting the beast they paid him to kill. Geralt heads to Temeria (promising the brothel owner he will return with money sufficient to pay his bills).
Geralt arrives and convinces the angry townsfolk to pay him to kill the monster at a steep discount to make up for his fellow witcher’s theft. Suddenly, a representative from the king arrives. The townsfolk jeer the representative, angry that the king has taken no action against the monster. The representative accuses the angry townsfolk of treason and orders Geralt to leave. On his way out, the soldiers escorting him away are knocked out by a witch named Triss Merrigold (Anna Shaffer) who is the King’s mage. She wants to personally hire Geralt to help her save the beast.
Triss takes Geralt to see the corpses of people killed by the beast, including the witcher from the prologue. Triss spread the rumor that the witcher had stolen their money rather than let the town know a witcher had been bested. Triss says that the killings started after it was rumored that the king’s sister was pregnant with a child who would be the heir as the king was childless. Geralt determines that the King’s sister was killed by a curse and that the monster is a striga (not a vukodlak)… and is also the daughter of the king’s sister. Geralt is taken to meet the king where he accuses the king of being the father of the striga.
Eventually, Geralt and Triss’ investigation lead them to discover that the sister was cursed by the royal advisor. The advisor admits it, saying he loved the sister and the curse was aimed at the King for defiling her. He will not lift the curse until the King is dethroned.
Geralt knocks out the advisor and returns to the castle where the striga lives, hoping to cure her but prepared to kill. He meets the King there, who admits the striga is his daughter and that he truly loved his sister. Geralt then enters the castle and binds the advisor there as an offering for the striga. The advisor eventually admits he got the spell from a sorcerer and that the spell was in the elvish language. Based on that, Geralt determines that he can cure the striga of its curse if he keeps it out of its crypt until dawn (it will be cured by the sound of a crowing rooster).
That night, the striga kills the advisor and has an epic battle with Geralt. Despite being badly beaten up, Geralt manages to keep the striga out of its crypt until the rooster crows. At dawn, he finds that the striga has reverted back to a human. The girl is reunited with her very grateful father. Triss heals Geralt and notes that Geralt spoke only Renfri’s name in his sleep.
Yennefer and Istredd are having ritualistic sex as witnessed by the council of wizards (Tissaia and Stregobor are both members of the counsel). The pair are also obviously in love. Afterwards, the two discuss their future plans. Yennefer wishes to go to her hometown as the empowered woman she now is rather than the scared girl she once was. As part of the initiation, Yennefer can have her body re-formed to match her desires.
The council of wizards meet to discuss where the new initiates will be assigned to work. Stregobor suggests that Yennefer be sent to Nilfgaard. He reveals to the council that she has elven blood (info he got from Istredd). Since the kingdom of Cintra (where Yennefer’s hometown is) hates elves, Stregobor states she cannot serve there. Tissaia objects to Stregobor’s proposal, but the counsel overrules her and assigns Yennefer to Nilfgaard.
After receiving her assignment, a devastated Yennefer skips the initiation ceremony. Istredd tracks her down and tries to apologize for telling her secrets to Stregobor. He proclaims his love and asks Yennefer to come with him to explore the continent instead of going to Nilfgaard. She rebuffs his apology and offer, with each insulting the other before parting ways. Yennefer yells out that she prizes power over all.
During the post-initiation ball (shown to take place many years before Geralt’s story in this episode), Yennefer undergoes the process of physical transformation (at the cost of her fertility) and emerges as a conventional beauty. She crashes the ball (not being allowed to go after skipping the initiation) and the King of her homeland immediately becomes enamored with her. The King abandons Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni), the sorceress the council had assigned to him, in favor of Yennefer. Fringilla is then sent to Nilfgaard.
Ciri is transfixed by an unseen force and walks deep into the woods as Dara follows. Dara is shot in the shoulder by an arrow as Ciri disappears into the trees, following a voice that calls her name.
Episode 4 – Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials:
In a bar, the townsfolk sing a celebratory song about Geralt written by Jaskier (whose music has made Geralt a legend). The bard forces Geralt to accompany him to a wedding in Cintra with the promise of food, wine and women. It is revealed that the party is to allow suitors to ask for Princess Pavetta’s hand in marriage. Pivetta is Calanthe’s daughter and will eventually give birth to Ciri meaning Geralt’s stories are taking place well before Ciri’s journey began.
Queen Calanthe, recognizes Geralt as a true warrior and asks Geralt to tell the tale of his slaughter of elves (falsely popularized through Jaskier’s songs). He instead tells the truth of his encounter with Filavandral (leading to boos from the crowd). During a later conversation with Geralt, he tells the Calanthe that it is impossible to create more witchers since the “sacking of Kaer Moran,” the site where witchers were created
A prince of Nilfgaard proposes marriage to Pivetta, which would unite the two kingdoms. Calanthe insults him until he leaves. Before the next suitor can approach, a knight barges in and proposes to Pavetta. The knight’s helmet is knocked off and it’s revealed that he has the head of a beast. The knight explains he is cursed to look like a beast until midnight strikes when his visage returns to that of a human. The knight then says he has a right to marry Pivetta under the “Law of Surprise.” The Law of Surprise grants the recipient the right to receive anything owed to the grantor upon his return home (whether it be fortune, food, or anything else). The knight had saved Calanthe’s first husband’s life and the King promised to pay him through the Law of Surprise. When the King returned home to find Calanthe pregnant with Pivetta, the Law required that Pivetta be given to the knight upon his demand.
Calanthe is disdainful of the cursed knight and orders Geralt and her guards to kill the beast. Geralt responds that the knight is not a beast and instead aids the knight’s fight against her guards. Eist (not yet married to Calanthe) is a believer in upholding destiny and also fights in the knight’s defense. Pavetta then surprises everyone when she runs up to the knight and embraces him (ending the fight).
With temporary calm restored, the knight states that he never planned to invoke his rights. However, he met Pavetta by chance and the pair fell in love. Pavetta says that she wants to marry the knight. Calanthe seems to relent and approaches the knight before trying to stab him. Before Calanthe can strike the fatal blow, Pavetta screams. Her scream (reminiscent of Ciri’s) causes an impenetrable force field to form around her and the knight. Geralt manages to break the forcefield after drinking a potion and knock the pair unconscious with his powers.
When everyone recovers, Calanthe embraces her daughter. She is awed that Pavetta inherited the magical powers of her grandmother and apologizes for her bad behavior. She blesses Pavetta’s marriage to the knight, and accepts a proposal of marriage from her own suitor, Eist. The marriage breaks the knight’s curse and he returns to his human form. The knight demands to repay Geralt, and Geralt sardonically asks for repayment through the Law of Surprise. Immediately afterwards, it is revealed that Pavetta is pregnant with Ciri (a fact that the knight didn’t know), meaning Geralt has a right to Ciri under the Law of Surprise. Horrified at this development and the witcher’s actions, Calanthe banishes Geralt from Cintra. Before he leaves, Geralt is advised by Calanthe’s mage that he is now destined to protect the unborn child, but Geralt dismisses destiny as a farce.
Thirty years later, Yennefer has had a successful though boring run as the royal mage for her hometown. After she is unable to prevent the Queen and Princess’ assasination by a killer hired by the King (who wanted a new wife and male heir), she leaves her position and goes rogue. Yennefer reflects on how she remains powerless despite everything she’s sacrificed.
Ciri continues pursuing the voice that calls out to her and sees a blinding light in the distance. She is suddenly surrounded by armed women. The leader arrives and explains they are dryads, the guardians of the forest. The dryads find and heal Dara’s wound. The pair are told they may drink the forest waters. It will kill them if they have ill intentions, but strengthen them if they don’t. The water will also wash away their memories so they can live a happy and unburdened life in the forest.
Ciri tells Dara her true identity. He is angered as Ciri’s grandmother Calanthe slaughtered his elvish family. Nonetheless, Dara agrees to remain by her side and counsels Ciri to take up the nymphs’ offer to erase her memory, just as he plans to do.
Ciri dreams of the slaughter of the elves. When she awakens, she drinks from the water, but it has no effect. The dryads take her to the source of the water. When Ciri drinks, she cgets a vision of a magical tree that begins talking to her.
Meanwhile, the forces of Nilfgaard find Calanthe’s body. Their mage, Fringilla, uses it to find Ciri’s location in the Dryads’ forest.
Episode 5 – Bottled Appetites:
Some time after the two parted ways after Pavetta’s party, Jaskier finds Geralt. Geralt is in a bad way, unable to sleep. He is looking for a djinn (similar to a genie) at the bottom of a lake to wish for some peace and rest. Jaskier theorizes that Geralt can’t sleep because he is not taking responsibility for Pavetta’s child as required by the Law of Surprise. Geralt finds the djinn’s bottle. Jaskier seemingly uncorks it and makes two wishes, but is instead attacked by the invisible spirit. Geralt whisks him away to an elvish doctor who says that the injury is magical and that they must find a sorcerer. He tells Geralt that there is a mage being held in the mayor’s home.
Geralt and a dying Jaskier arrive at the mayor’s home. They find the mayor naked and completely transfixed. The pair enter a room where an orgy is taking place. All the people are entranced by Yennefer. Geralt explains the situation and offers to pay her whatever she wants to help Jaskier. After hearing that a djinn is involved, Yennefer releases the townsfolk from her spell and agrees to these terms.
After Jaskier is placed in a healing sleep, Yennefer demands that Geralt bathe. She joins him in the tub and the two converse. It is revealed that witchers were created by sorcerers. After they bathe and dress, Geralt realizes that Yennefer intends to catch the djinn and take its power. Although he wants to leave, he can’t move Jaskier until the healing spell is completed. Yennefer then uses a spell that puts Geralt into a trance.
Geralt regains his senses in a prison cell with the elvish doctor. The elf explains that Geralt attacked the councilmembers (in so doing, he got revenge for Yennefer’s arrest). When the elf tried to defend Geralt, they arrested them both. A man arrives to torture Geralt and, in his pain, Geralt wishes the torturer to explode. The torturer does, revealing that Geralt (not Jaskier) has control of the djinn (Geralt was holding the bottle when Jaskier pulled out the cork).
Meanwhile, Yennefer begins a spell to capture the djinn. A fully-healed Jaskier flees the house and runs right into Geralt who broke out of prison and returned. Geralt realizes that Yennefer is trying to become the new vessel for the djinn and says that doing so will kill her. He runs inside the home, claiming he owes Yennefer for saving Jaskier. He finds Yennefer’s body being crushed by the djinn. He offers to give her his last wish if she ceases her efforts, but she says she wants to obtain “everything” on her own and not through the benevolence of anyone else.
As the djinn slowly kills Yennefer, Geralt mutters a wish (it is not revealed what he wished for) and the djinn departs, destroying the house. Yennefer teleported the pair away before they were crushed. The pair argue before making passionate love. Afterwards, Geralt says his “plan” worked and falls into true, restful sleep.
Yennefer is selling spells in a small town when she is arrested for failing to pay taxes. She is taken into the mayor’s custody.
Tissaia visits Yennefer and asks her to rejoin the council of wizards. She offers to restore Yennefer to her position in her homeland’s court (noting the King who had the Queen and his daughter assassinated was himself killed by a rival). She also notes that Fringilla has brought peace to Nilfgaard (where Yennefer was supposed to have gone). It is revealed that Yennefer is trying to find a way to restore her fertility and desires to attain “everything” without any help. Yennefer rebuffs Tissaia’s offer.
Later, Yennefer is approached by Geralt (see above for their story).
The forces of Nilfgaard hire a creature named a doppler to help them find Ciri. A doppler can assume the visage and memories of any other person. Fringilla brings the doppler the mage who served the royals of Cintra and was close to Ciri. The mage asks why Fringilla is doing this, and she responds that she now serves the “White Flame.” The doppler assumes the mage’s body and memories before killing the mage.
Meanwhile, the dryads discuss what to do with Ciri. Although there is some objection, they decide to keep her with them even if it puts them in conflict with the forces of Nilfgaard.
Some time later, the doppler arrives in the dryads’ forest. He is brought to Ciri, where he claims he is there to bring her to Geralt. Ciri decides to go with the doppler and Dara agrees to go with her. The dryad leader advises Ciri to be careful out in the world.
Episode 6 – Rare Species:
Geralt and Yennefer’s Journey:
Two men wait with Jaskier for Geralt’s return from a monster-hunting mission they hired him for. The men decide Geralt must be dead and decide to steal his stuff (over Jaskier’s objections). A man and two warrior women appear and stop the theft. Shortly thereafter, Geralt returns. The man introduces himself as Borch and asks Geralt to join his team to hunt and kill a dragon. Geralt initially declines, saying no treasure is worth dying for. However, Geralt learns that Yennefer is on one of the other teams and decides to join Borch.
Yennefer greets Geralt. She is aiding her current escort, a naïve young knight, who is leading another group in hunting the dragon. Four groups in total are on the hunt As they journey towards the top, the knight shows rash judgment and arrogance and members of the groups bicker. They also discuss that Nilfgaard is gaining zealots and has ambitions to conquer the continent. That night, someone kills Yennefer’s knight in order to lessen the competition.
Borch’s group joins a team of dwarves to take a shortcut to the lair. Geralt talks to Yennefer before they leave. Yennefer reveals that she is after the dragon as she believes it could cure her infertility (and was only with the knight because he was a skilled fighter). Geralt says that despite the legend of their healing properties, her infertility cannot be cured any more than his own (revealing all witchers are sterilized during the transformation. He questions why Yennefer would even want a child given their respective dangerous lifestyles. She responds that she wants the choice that was stripped from her. Geralt accidently reveals that, he is bound to a child (Ciri) through the Law of Surprise. He then tells Yennefer that he talks to nobody else as much as he talks to her and asks her to join his team. She agrees.
As they journey to the top of the mountain, Borch and his warrior women fall off the mountainside despite Geralt’s efforts to save them. Geralt and Borch had grown close during the adventure and it is clear that Geralt mourns the loss.
That night, Geralt goes to Yennefer’s tent (and it’s revealed they’ve had various affairs since their first encounter). Instead of having meaningless sex, the pair make love. Geralt reveals that witchers do feel emotion (saying the rumor that they don’t is used to justify people’s hatred of them). He also tells Yennefer that he did not choose to become a witcher. They talk seriously about Yennefer’s desire for a child and she reveals the truth that she wants to be important to someone and have a legacy. Geralt responds she is important to him. Yennefer appears to accept her love for Geralt.
Yennefer and Geralt arrive at the dragon’s lair before the other teams. They find a dead dragon curled around an egg and… the warrior women that plummeted off the cliff still alive. A golden dragon flies in and reveals that it is Borch (who had assumed human form). His dragon wife died and the egg cannot yet be moved. Borch contacted the witcher once he learned of the hunt in hopes that Geralt would help.
When the murderous team arrives, the dragon’s servants, Geralt and Yennefer fight them off (with Yennefer killing the man who killed her knight). Borch protects the egg during the battle. They are then able to trade dragon teeth to the team of dwarves so they can collect the reward for the dragon’s death offered by a nearby King. Jaskier slept through the entire battle.
Afterwards, Borch forces Geralt to reveal his wish to Yennefer. He wished for the pair’s destinies to be bound together. She is incensed, believing that her love for Geralt is nothing more than the side effect of his wish. Borch tells Yennefer that she will never regain her womb (hoping these revelations will get both his friends to move forward). Yennefer storms away. Borch then tells Geralt that his destiny and legacy is not with Yennefer, but with someone else (Ciri). Geralt is devastated and when Jaskier tries to console him, he insults the bard. The friends part ways and Geralt is alone.
As Ciri and Dara follow the mage, not knowing he is a doppler, they leave the dryads’ forest. On the way, the doppler tells them the story of Pavetta’s marriage as depicted in an earlier episode.
Along the way, Ciri and Dara ask many questions and eventually deduce that he is not the bard. The exasperated doppler attacks them. They poison it with Dara’s silver knife, causing it to lose the mage’s form. However, he knocks out Dara and pursues Ciri through the woods.
Jumping ahead, Ciri awakens and finds herself captured and in Cahir’s tent. Cahir tells Ciri that she is the key to the “White Flame” designs. However, Ciri reveals herself to be the doppler. The doppler explains that he betrayed Cahir once she realized what Ciri is and what she’s capable of. The doppler assumes Cahir’s form and the pair fight to a standstill before the doppler escapes.
Dara finds Ciri tied up in the woods and frees her. Upset at the violence she has brought into his life, Dara parts ways with her.
Fringilla tells an angry Cahir that while Ciri is the key, he has a central role to play in the White Flame’s plans. They reaffirm their commitment to spreading the White Flame’s power across the entire continent.
Episode 7 – Before a Fall::
Geralt sees Nilfgaard’s army marching on Cintra (taking place shortly before the events of Ciri’s journey in the first episode). He heads to the kingdom intending to invoke the Law of Surprise for the sole purpose of protecting Ciri (the viewer also learns that Ciri’s parents were killed during a storm at sea). Geralt is attacked by Calanthe’s guards as she clearly wants to stop Geralt from invoking the Law, but he eventually makes his way to the Queen.
The two argue, with Calanthe inclined to refuse Geralt’s claim just as she tried to do with Pivetta’s husband. He calls her a fool for treating him as a threat instead of a friend. Geralt promises to protect Ciri and return her safely if Cintra defeats Nilfgaard.
Calanthe tries to pass off another girl as Ciri, but Geralt discovers the ruse. The Queen again refuses to honor the Law of Surprise and tells Geralt to leave (saying honoring the Law ultimately led to Pavetta dying at sea). She is also confident she will defeat the Nilfgaard forces in battle. Geralt appeals to Eist, but he will not betray his wife (and also can’t bear to part with Ciri). When Geralt vows to return, Eist arrests him and throws him into the tower (meaning Geralt is who Calanthe asked her mage to retrieve in the first episode).
We then see what Geralt was up to during the siege of Cintra. Calanthe had had him imprisoned in the castle tower. She sends her mage to retrieve him when all is lost, but Geralt had already escaped. It turns out that Geralt was fighting the Nilfgaard forces and witnessed Calanthe’s suicide. He tries to find Ciri, but to no avail (she already had been spirited away from the castle).
Yennefer travels to Nilfgarrd to reconnect with Istredd and witnesse their cruelty. She offers to be with Istredd as he once proposed. Istredd declines.
Another mage named Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) approaches and asks Yennefer to return with him to the school. He explains that Nilfgarrd is conscripting mages to their cause and the council is concerned. He also mentions that Tissaia called Yennefer her best student. Upon hearing that, she agrees to return. Upon her arrival, the mages (sans Tissaia) ask Yennefer to help them against Nilfgarrd, but she expresses no interest.
She journeys through the school and finds several students in her old room. She mixes herbs together and gets the girls high and tells them they must learn to think for themselves. The girls tell Yennefer that the school is now allowing wealthy and connected families to pay for their children to be schooled there, regardless of whether the children have magical powers. Yennefer then explains that the council sterilizes all wizards and takes them to the eel pond. Tissaia finally arrives and intervenes. The two begin to argue, but are interrupted by an emergency conference of the council of wizards. As Nilfgarrd is about to attack Cintra, the sorcerers must decide what to do.
The head of the council (Fringilla’s uncle) and Stregobor argues against intervention. Tissaia, Vilgefortz, and Triss argue for action. Fringilla herself arrives and defends Nilfgaard’s actions. The council votes not to intervene.
Tissaia tells Yennefer that she and some of the others plan to make a stand against Nilfgaard anyways. Yennefer is convinced to help.
Ciri is now alone on her journey. She trades her mother’s ring for a pair of gloves. Taking pity on her, a woman invites Ciri to her house. Ciri steals one of the woman’s horses and rides off on her own.
That night, a group of Cintrans (including an old playmate) come upon Ciri. They begin ransacking her stuff and say they intend to sell her to Nilfgaard. As they try to drag her away, she becomes possessed and utters a prophecy. The episode then fades to black as we hear Ciri scream.
Episode 8 – Much More:
After Cintra’s fall, Geralt is regretful that he was unable to fulfill his promise to protect Ciri. He decides to return to his homeland. He comes across a man burying the bodies of those dead in the Cintran refugee camp (that Ciri escaped from in an earlier). They are attacked by zombie-like creatures. Though Geralt destroys them, he sees he is bitten. He tells his horse that this is his end before fainting.
Geralt wakes up in the man’s cart, delirious. The man is bringing him to get medical attention. Geralt hallucinates his childhood, where his mother instills the ethos of “live and let live” upon him. It is also revealed that she was a sorceress. We see that Geralt’s mother eventually abandons him to a witcher named Vesemir.
Geralt regains consciousness and hears the the mages battling Nilfgaard in the distance. Geralt ingests a potion before passing out again. He has a vision of his mother healing his wounds. His mother says that those whose destinies are bound together always find a way back to each other. Geralt demands to know why she left him, but she refuses to answer. Instead, she tells him to find Ciri, and claims that she herself is just a dream.
Geralt story is concluded below with Ciri’s journey.
60 mages (including Yennefer and Triss) unite to fight Nilfgaard. Vilgefortz, a former soldier, has developed a military-style strategy for their defense. After Cintra’s fall, Nilfgaard has control of the South of the continent. Vilgefortz hopes to hold their forces back at a keep that guards the major crossing to the North. Yennefer wonders why Nilfgaard would have attacked Cintra before invading the weaker Northern kingdoms (they don’t know that Nilfgaard is after Ciri). The mages and refugees from the South prepare to fight as they await reinforcements from the Northern kingdoms.
The attack begins with Nilfgaard launching magical fireballs at the keep (the fireballs are so massive, it drains the life out of the conscripted wizard that conjures it). The mages are able to ward off their attacks. But the might of Nilfgaard’s power causes 22 mages to flee. Things appear grim as the Northern armies have not yet arrived.
The next day, the mages defeat the first three waves of Nilfgaard’s attack with Yennefer coordinating their defense. But Vilgefortz is knocked down a hillside by Cahir after facing him in hand combat and is knocked unconscious. Fringilla uses her power to break open the gates to their keep. Tissaia appeals to Fringilla to abandon her conquest. Fringilla rebuffs her and reveals that she caused the storm that killed Pavetta before poisoning her former teacher. She then uses a spell to open a box her servant placed within the gates of the keep. Black worms pour out of the box.
With the mage’s leaders out of the way, the Nilfgaard forces begin to overrun the keep and kill some of the wizards. Yennefer is stabbed by her ally-mage Sabrina (Therica Wilson-Read). We see that a black worm burrowed into her brain and possessed her. Others under the control of the worms begin setting off explosives within the keep. The explosions knock Sabrina and Yennefer from the tower they stand upon, but a magical force cushions Yennefer’s fall. Yennefer telepathically asks if anyone is still alive. Fringilla alone answers, asking Yennefer to join Nilfgaard where she can attain the power she’s always desired. Yennefer denies her.
Yennefer finds a wounded Tissaia. The pair finally embrace and Tissaia says that saving the continent will be Yennefer’s legacy. She also tells Yennefer to finally let her power loose. Yennefer absorbs the flames of the burning keep into her body, and then unleashes a wave of fire at her enemies. The attack decimates the Nilfgaard forces. The Northern armies then arrive, forcing Nilfgaard to retreat. Tissaia calls out for Yennefer, but she has disappeared.
Ciri wakes up to see the woman who offered to take her to her home standing above her asking what happened. Ciri looks around and sees the men that accosted her have been brutally murdered. She agrees to go home with the woman. The woman’s house is nearby the keep, where the mages battle Nilfgaard.
That night, the mother explains that her house is far too out of the way to ever be swept up in the kingdoms’ battles. She offers to adopt Ciri as her daughter (essentially meaning Ciri can live a simple life in peace). But that night, she dreams of Calanthe’s last words – to find Geralt for he is her destiny. The next morning, Ciri sneaks away into the woods.
The woman’s husband returns home and it is revealed that the husband is the man who is with Geralt. The witcher hears the wife say she found a girl in the woods and remembers Renfri’s prophecy. He then walks into the woods and finds Ciri there. The pair embrace. Ciri looks up at Geralt and asks who Yennefer is before the credits roll.